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The Grounds

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In addition to the home and the other physical “improvements” on the property (e.g., garages, outbuildings, or fences), you need to consider the land and the vegetation that you are buying as well. In urban subdivisions, you should try to be sure that trees and plants are in good shape. Removing a mature oak or cottonwood that has died could cost several thousand dollars, while replacing midsize trees and shrubs could cost hundreds. On larger rural and mountain properties, you should look for dump sites that could contain hazardous substances or for mine shafts that could create safety and liability issues.